t’s been an enormous yr for women in information, with the rise of #MeToo and a greater understanding of the hurdles women face in attending to the highest spots in biopharma and health care. But what about women’s health? We seemed again at our yr of protection and picked out 10 of our favourite stories.
Pregnancy is a medical black field in some ways, together with in drug security. For moral causes, we don’t check medicines on pregnant women and fetuses, and drug development lags relating to women’s illnesses. A federal process pressure is learning medicine use throughout being pregnant, however within the meantime, women and their docs face a frightening determination: will my efforts to remain wholesome hurt me or my baby?
In a yr of elevated consideration to women dying in and simply after childbirth, one Texas legislator needed to show her personal expertise into motion to deal with how this challenge disproportionately affects black women. Rep. Shawn Thierry, who stated she suffered a robust and terrifying response to an epidural, authored the invoice, which handed the House and was despatched to the state Senate on the finish of the legislative yr.
As Zika virus infections continued in 2017, there got here this irritating revelation: testing has had its share of troubles. This has led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recommend a number of exams for pregnant women and to ask women in Zika-affected areas who’re considering of getting pregnant to get examined for Zika antibodies earlier than they conceive, so clinicians can have a baseline for understanding check outcomes afterward.
For two women with metastatic breast most cancers, a help group led to an unimaginable friendship that spanned a decade. As one of many women entered hospice, the opposite continued to be a presence in her life, witnessing her final moments. And on the finish of every assembly of the group that introduced them collectively, members held a second of silence and solidarity.
It was supposed to check a cheap strategy to spot cervical most cancers within the creating world, however a medical trial in India utilizing group health staff and vinegar to determine women in danger has come underneath hearth — and the ensuing paper has been retracted — for issues associated to knowledgeable consent and poor research design. The trial is one in every of three which have stoked controversy in India’s efforts to stem cervical most cancers, together with one funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
In 2017, a telemedicine app that gives contraception continued increasing into conservative America, providing emergency contraception by way of the work of distant physicians. Nurx is already obtainable in 15 states and Washington D.C., however as the corporate grows, it’s stirring a backlash.
While on task in Burkina Faso, a STAT reporter visited a women’s clinic making an attempt to assist women avoid back-to-back pregnancy by means of using non-hormonal contraception. A brand new regulation within the African nation provides women free health look after as much as six weeks after delivery, and in an overflowing ready room, a group of roughly one dozen staffers works with women — and their mother-in-laws — to dispel fable and stop abortion.
Many corporations supply genetic exams that declare to assist the check taker perceive their dangers of illness. This one claims to supply women info to assist them perceive their fertility, or lack thereof. But is that this check legit? Or does it merely add to the nervousness many women really feel about their fertility?
In the search to have a wholesome baby, many mother and father select genetic testing of embryos earlier than implantation to rule out probably the most devastating of illnesses. But what about genetic markers that portend later illness? It’s an moral minefield for folks and clinicians, a choice made ever more durable when the choice isn’t with the ability to have a toddler in any respect.
Concussion affects women differently, and it’s been a problem discovering sufficient autopsy brains to study extra about it. Enter Gina Danger, a MMA fighter, very a lot alive, who’s a part of a analysis undertaking geared towards understanding the earliest points of mind trauma. Danger advised STAT she’s not fearful about her mind health proper now, and unsure what she would do if her scans present indicators of injury. She’s drawn to the struggle, she says, for higher, or for worse.